After Sri Lankan Legend Lasith Malinga, 17-year-old Sri Lankan pacer Pathirana brings the former's slingy Round arm bowling back to pitches. While already being entitled "Junior Malinga", here's a trip down to Lasith Malinga's action.
In the modern game of cricket, Legendary Sri Lankan fast bowler Lasith Malinga brought back the distinctive round-arm bowling back to the fields. He delivers the ball on a horizontal arc compared to other conventional fast bowlers. Before that such bowling action was seen in 1864.
His action has a long pull, creating a longer angular distance to accelerate the arm. His significant hip and shoulder separation combined with a long arm-pull create a big sling to ball fast. This earned him the name of "Slinga Malinga".
Malinga's bowling arc allows him to deliver the ball in a position that the batter finds challenging to face. When he swings the ball with a low release position, the ball dips with an angle of the seam which helps him produce his special in-swinging Yorkers.
He has been one of the finest bowlers that the game of cricket has ever seen. He was not just a fiery bowler but also had a unique slinging throw-down action that terrorized the opposition batters for years.
In his long and illustrious career, he has taken 101 wickets in 30 Tests and 338 wickets in 226 ODIs.
There was only one Lasith Malinga until we saw Matheesha Pathirana. His bowling in the Under 19 Asia cup was nothing short of a nostalgic trip for fans who saw little Malinga in him.
He came to notice during the Match against Kuwait U-19 in the first match of the recently concluded U-19 Asia Cup. The 19-year old Pathirana produced some brutal bouncers and yorkers as his team Lankan Lions registered a massive victory by 274 runs. He finished with highly impressive figures of 7-2 in 3 overs.
The second time pacer grabbed attention was in the match against India where his delivery to Yashasvi Jaiswal clocked 108mph (175kph), the fastest delivery at an international level. But soon, it was declared to be a technical glitch in speed gun, keeping former Shoaib Akhtar's world record intact of bowling the fastest delivery in the world. Akhtar bowled a 161.3 kph delivery against England in the 2003 ICC World Cup.
It will be really difficult to get into the place of Lasith Malinga, but can we safely say Matheesha Pathirana is the new Malinga in the making.
Lasith Malinga is all set for a new journey as Bowling strategy coach for their five-match T20I tour of Australia commencing on Friday, 11 February, 2022.
We have some very talented young bowlers and I am very excited about the opportunity to share my experience and knowledge to help them develop. - Malinga commented after his appointment.
It will be interesting to see Australian experienced batters like Aron Finch, Steven Smith and Glenn Maxwell facing the Sri Lankan bowling attack strategized under the guidance of Lasith Malinga.